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News article on: Basketball

Image associated to news article on:  The year of Xavi Pascual
The youngest coach
At the age of 36 years, 9 months and 9 days, Xavi Pascual (GavÓ, 9/9/72) became the youngest coach ever to win the ACB league. He beat the record held by Luis Casimiro, who won the title with TDK Manresa in 1998, at the age of 37 years and 11 months.

But apart from his motivational skills and his record as the youngest ever ACB winning coach, Pascual will be remembered as the coach who delighted the Palau fans with his attractive brand of basketball. After a five year title drought, the Palau boiled over with excitement at the classification for the Final Four in Berlin, the ACB league title and the wonderful performances produced by the team throughout the season.

The year of Xavi Pascual

The job done by Xavi Pascual in charge of Regal Barša was impressive. He became the youngest coach in the history of the game to win the ACB league, despite the added pressure of already being part of the Barša coaching staff.

Even more impressive was his ability to make a group of largely new faces work together as a single unit.

As a coach Pascual has been faithful to his ideas, and an untiring and methodical worker capable of transmitting the Barša spirit to a highly varied squad. In his first complete season in charge of Regal Barša, he made them the most attractive basketball team in Spain and in Europe. Though it’s true that that the consistency of players such as Navarro, Vßzquez and Ilyasova made a huge contribution to the success of the team, Pascual imposed a winning mentality that proved to be one of the keys to the progress of the team.

Psychologist and motivator

The work of a trainer goes beyond the purely tactical or technical and the Catalan Regal Barša coach Pascual has shown himself to be an excellent motivator. This was especially obvious in the big games against the powerhouses of European basketball. Teams such as Panathinaikos –beaten both in the Palau and in Athens- Real Madrid, Montepaschi Siena and Maccabi Tel-Aviv – who Barša hadn’t beaten at home for 18 seasons.

And he deserves a special mention for the games against TAU. At the beginning of the season, in the Super Cup, it seemed that the team from Vitoria was in a different league. Then, midway through the season, in the Kings Cup, this superiority looked set to dominate in Spain and in Europe. Despite the initial defeat in the quarterfinals of the Euroleague , Pascual convinced his men of their ability – with the help of a motivational video – and led them to five wins and buried the myth of TAU’s invincibility. A couple of months later, he did the same in the final of the ACB.

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